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InsideDecember 2020 / January 2021

Around Campus

Deck the Chairs Features Two Osprey Creations

UNF display at Deck the Chairs

It’s not every day that you see two Ospreys perched at Jacksonville Beach. Thanks to the students from UNF's STEM Living and Learning Community and the University's Alumni Association, now you can see them all month. These larger-than-life Ospreys have landed atop authentic lifeguard chairs as part of the eighth-annual Deck the Chairs holiday event, created to raise funds for the area’s Volunteer Life Saving Corps. 

The participation of the Living Learning Communities at UNF was the result of a student engagement project created by Amy Lorenz, associate director of Housing and Residence Life, and UNF alumnus Kurtis Loftus, founder and executive director of Deck the Chairs nonprofit. The two came up with the idea of challenging the campus LLCs in a “Swoop the Chairs” competition. Students created 12-inch chair models of the STEM LLC chair designlifeguard chairs and submitted the photos to be posted on Deck the Chair’s social media. By liking the images, community residents chose the STEM design as their favorite. It was then transformed into a full-size display, built by DPR Construction, which donated time and materials.

“It’s been a fun process,” Lorenz said. “Deck the Chairs is a community-based grassroots experience, and as someone who works in student engagement, I wanted to find some way during the pandemic for students to engage and have fun with one another. The students have been very excited.” 

The Alumni Association also added an Osprey-themed chair that sits next to the STEM display, with an 11-foot wooden nest in between and a basketball hoop. Students from the Music Living-Learning Community also plan to play music to entertain visitors. The Alumni Association has designated Saturday, Dec. 5, from 4 – 6 p.m. as UNF Alumni Night and will provide a holiday present to all alumni. 

Five LLCs participated in the UNF Swoop the Chairs competition: two Honors Communities, the first-year and Honors L.E.A.D. upperclassmen; STEM, the first-year community for science and engineering majors; Quest First Flight; and ASL Zone, American Sign Language Zone. Students in the LLCs reside with others with the same goals and interests in order to enhance education by bringing the classroom into the residence halls. Lorenz believes the engagement project added teamwork, brainstorming and creative problem-solving as well as a sense of community.

“Students have not been able to engage a lot right now, so it was exciting to see them enjoy the project,” Lorenz said. “It’s been kind of a fun experience in an otherwise pretty tough semester for everyone.”

Learn more about the event in Jacksonville Beach. 

Around Campus

UNF to Implement New Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence 2021-2025After a year-long effort, UNF has a new road map to follow as it pursues its vision for inclusive excellence. The recently completed Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence integrates diversity and quality initiatives and infuses diversity into recruiting, admissions, hiring and administrative practices.

With five goals, 53 strategies and 171 action items to be implemented over a five-year time frame, the plan shifts the responsibility for creating a diverse and inclusive campus to the entire university community as opposed to a few individual departments.

President David Szymanski expressed his gratitude to all involved in the effort. “I want to thank this committee for their dedication and passion to work on this very important plan,” Szymanski said. “I look forward to our future as we all contribute in achieving inclusive excellence at UNF.”

Faculty, students and staff from all colleges and divisions comprised the 25-member Commission on Diversity and Inclusion that drafted the plan under the guidance of Alison Cruess, director and co-chair of CODI, and Whitney Meyer, Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer. The next step is to implement the plan, which will begin with discussions with all deans and department heads. Meyer expects a rollout to happen in mid-December.

“The committee under Alison’s direction has done an excellent job,” Meyer said. “I am happy to see that we now have one cohesive plan that will help guide us to achieve our vision. We’ve been making progress working as individual departments, but I believe we can achieve so much more by working together as a unified and cooperative community.”

Meyer said the plan details strategies and action items for each goal and measurements for each action item to track success. Each goal is also tailored to fit the individual needs of students, faculty and staff. “We will be able to provide updates to the campus on how we are doing, semester by semester, which is an important accountability piece that we will need to chart our progress and make any needed changes,” Meyer said.

Here are the plan’s five goals:

  • Improve recruitment of students and employees from underrepresented communities to better align with that of the Northeast Florida community.
  • Create an inclusive university climate to support the retention and success of all students and employees.
  • Provide, and encourage participation in, innovative and transformative learning experiences enabling all students and employees to advance inclusive excellence.
  • Communicate to stakeholders the University of North Florida’s accomplishments, initiatives, and innovations as the University advances inclusive excellence.
  • Lead Northeast Florida in diversity education by establishing and sustaining relationships with businesses and organizations who will partner with the University of North Florida in championing inclusive excellence.

Read more about the plan online. Login may be required.


Commission on Diversity and Inclusion members:
Edythe Abdullah, J.D.; Parvez Ahmed, Ph.D.; Mandi Barringer, Ph.D.; Alison Cruess (chair); Rusty Dubberly, Ed.D.; Rodney Ellington; Thatcher Hart; Chris Janson, Ph.D.; Chris Johnson, Ph.D.; Marlynn Jones; Donna Kirk; Megan Kuehner; Christina Levine; Chadwick Lockley; Ruth Lopez; Whitney Meyer; Karen Patterson, Ph.D.; Simon Rhodes, Ph.D.; Ally Schneider; Alexandria Schonning, Ph.D.; Shelia Spivey; Valerie Stevenson; Kassie Terrell, Ph.D.; Manny Velasquez-Paredes; and Brandi Winfrey.

Around Campus

Special Thanksgiving Delivery

President and First Lady Szymanski with UNF student on Thanksgiving

President and First Lady Szymanski shared warm “to-go” meals on Thanksgiving with UNF students who remained on campus for the holiday.

In addition to the special meal, each student also received a handcrafted Thanksgiving place mat created by children at the UNF Preschool. The First Lady spent a morning via Zoom with the children as they made their special creations to share with the UNF students. 


The Thanksgiving meals were prepared by Mayes Food Service.

Around Campus

TIAA Bank Helps to Fuel UNF Students for Success

student unloads Lend-A-Wing van As the holidays grow near, UNF’s Lend-A-Wing pantry just received a very special gift from TIAA Bank – a dedicated van for the program.


The student-run Lend-A-Wing pantry provides food free-of-charge and anonymously to UNF students in need. While some items are donated by faculty, staff and others, the pantry also works closely with partners like Feeding Northeast Florida, a local community food bank and uses monetary donations to purchase food. Picking up items and transporting them back to campus has been a huge challenge for pantry staff, who either used their own vehicles or had to rent vans to make the pickups.


“In the past, stocking the pantry has been a huge to-do,” said Natalie Costello, student director of Lend-A-Wing. “Now, we will be able to restock the pantry more often, and our shopping trips will definitely go a lot smoother!” A van has been a longstanding need for the pantry, but funding was just not available according to Costello. “We are just are so grateful to TIAA Bank for making this possible.”


TIAA Bank has been a valued partner to UNF for more than a decade providing first-generation scholarships to UNF students, but when bank staff learned about Lend-A-Wing during a campus tour, they wanted to do even more.


Paul Pugh, head of sponsorships and community development at TIAA Bank, said the bank believes in education and wants to help eliminate obstacles so educational success becomes a reality for UNF students. According to the Harvard Political Review, almost 50% of college students will struggle with food insecurity at some point in their college career, and studies show that hungry students are more likely to have lower GPAs. “I’m looking forward to seeing it on the road,” Pugh said of the van, “and I know that every time I see that, it is helping to fuel students for success.”


During the last academic year alone, the Lend-A-Wing pantry logged more than 3,500 interactions with students and more than 33,175 food items were shared.  

Around Campus

Inside News Roundup

Here is a recap of the latest news from UNF over the past month, in case you missed anything!


Unique UNF Programs

UNF tennis player paintingUNF Leadership Institute and Women’s Tennis Support Ronald McDonald House Charities
Through its Taylor Leadership Institute, the University has formed a unique partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville that allows students to mentor pediatric patients in the local Jacksonville community. As part of this ongoing partnership, the UNF Women’s Tennis team recently hosted a "Be Strong" virtual Zoom meetup and paint event with a group of Ronald McDonald House children. Action News Jax shared the story.

SportsMEDIA Technology and UNF’s Sport Data Analytics Lab Announce Partnership 
SportsMEDIA Technology in Jacksonville has agreed to be an official supporter of the Sport Data Analytics Lab, which opened this fall and is led by Dr. Wanyong Choi. In addition to a donation to the lab, SMT is investing in the refurbishment of the tennis courts at the Fountains Residence Hall, bringing them to USTA standards, so the company can accurately test their data analysis tools and software. These courts will provide SMT with a place to test-run new technologies before they are rolled out to tournaments like the U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon, where SMT already plays a major role. Computer science majors and sport management students will gain first-hand experience working with the SMT technologies, in both the data collection and data analysis.


Graduate student at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation UNF to Offer Graduate Business Courses in Downtown Jacksonville in Spring 2021
The University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business will offer Master of Business Administration classes and Master of Science in Management courses at the UNF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation downtown in Spring 2021. Students will have exclusive access to the classroom space and other study areas in the Center located in downtown’s historic Barnett Building, making it convenient for local professionals working in the city’s urban core. Read more about the graduate courses online.

UNF Partners with Fulda University in Germany
The University of North Florida’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work has been accepted to participate with Fulda University of Applied Science in Germany in its Social Work in a Globalized World program. The program will give UNF social work faculty and students the opportunity to collaborate with universities from Australia, Germany and Namibia to develop an internationally focused, practice-oriented range of courses. Read more about the program.

New Rankings
UNF Ranked One of the Most Affordable Colleges to Earn an Early Childhood Education Degree
Of 85 national universities ranked as “Most Affordable” for earning an Early Childhood Education Degree, UNF has landed at No. 37, as listed by Discover Early Childhood ED, a resource to help students plan their teaching career path. The organization said the listed universities were inexpensive, but high-quality, offering students a “lower price tag from a great college program.”

Student sharing information at a LGBTQ Resource Center tableUNF Takes Top Rank as LGBTQ+ Friendly University in Florida
The University of North Florida now ranks No. 8 in LGBTQ+ Friendly Colleges/Universities in the South and is tied for No. 1 in the State of Florida, according to the recently released Campus Pride Index. UNF received 4.5 out of 5 stars for its continual work and progress for inclusive LGBTQ+ and ally policies, programs and practices. Read more about the ranking.

UNF Named a Top 100 Best for Veterans School
The University of North Florida has been named one of the best schools in the nation for veterans and recognized for offering high-quality and affordable educational experiences for military-affiliated students. According to College Factual’s recent rankings, UNF ranked No. 53 out of over 2,100 schools analyzed, putting the University in the top 5% of the country for serving veteran and active-duty military students. Read more about the ranking.

University of North Florida Ranked One of the Best Nursing Schools
UNF and the Brooks College of Health have received three 2021 top placement overall rankings from the Nursing Degree Search: No. 1 Best Nursing Doctor’s Degrees Schools in Florida; No. 7 Best Nursing Schools in Florida; and No. 35 Best Nursing Schools in the Southeast Region.

Around Campus

Innovation Continues in the Face of COVID-19


The pandemic has challenged us in countless ways. In response to instruction going online, many of our faculty members have created innovative teaching methods to keep students engaged while learning from afar.

To share some of those approaches and learn of others, the Center for Instruction and Research Technology is hosting a faculty panel. Seven panelists will discuss their teaching methods, with time for questions and for participants to share their own experiences. The Zoom event is Friday, Dec. 4, from 10:30 a.m. – noon.

As an example, Jen Ross, assistant professor and nutrition undergraduate program director, and Dr. Lauri Wright, associate professor, chair and DCN co-director, added the concept of an escape room adventure into a student assignment. In the same way that today’s popular physical escape rooms require participants to find hidden clues and solve puzzles in order to “escape,” the activity challenged senior-level nutrition students with virtual problem solving. The only way to move on or “escape” was to work through each step of a Nutrition Care Process.

Ross said the students responded favorably, saying that the assignment felt “immersive” and that being able to apply the concepts into a virtual scenario helped to build confidence and made them feel like part of a team effort.

Find more information online and register for the panel discussion.

Around Campus

Basketball is Back!

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the 2020-21 hoops schedules have been set for men’s and women’s basketball.

Matt DriscollMen’s Basketball
The men’s campaign under head coach Matthew Driscoll began Nov. 25 with a five-game road swing that ends Dec. 5 at High Point. Twelve games are planned at UNF Arena, and fans will note several changes including mobile ticketing, social-distance spacing in arena and seating and a clear bag policy. Season ticket, mini plan and single game ticket information is available online.

Schedule details:

  • 12 home games on schedule
  • 19 games played within the borders of the "Sunshine State" including all eight games in the month of January and a span of 12 straight (Dec. 12-Jan. 30)
  • 4 games against Power Conference programs (ACC - 3 | SEC - 1) as well as some strong mid-major teams
  • Ospreys will face four teams that won 20+ games a year ago as well as two more squads with 19 wins
  • Both games of the River City Rumble will be on the road for the first time in series history
  • All home games will be carried on ESPN+

See the full 2020-21 North Florida men’s basketball schedule

Darrick GibbsWomen’s Basketball
The women’s season under head coach Darrick Gibbs includes 11 home games and 17 in the Sunshine State as well as play against two teams from the ACC and two from the SEC. The Ospreys opened on the road against NC State and Miami before returning to play Florida Atlantic Nov. 30. The Ospreys first chance to play in front of a home crowd is set for Dec. 3 and kicks off a series of three straight nonconference contests. Season ticket and single game ticket information is available online

Schedule details:

  • 11 home games; 17 in Florida
  • Auburn and Florida National are both first time opponents
  • UNF finished 16-15 overall and 8-8 in ASUN last season
  • All ASUN games are set for 2 p.m.

See the full 2020-21 women’s basketball schedule.

Around Campus

Five Free December/January Events

Here are five free events to enjoy during December and January.

Alumni Association display UNF Night at Deck the Chairs

Saturday, Dec. 5, 4 – 6 p.m., Jacksonville Beach
Deck the Chairs at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach has designated Saturday, Dec. 5, as “UNF Alumni Night.” At the UNF-themed Alumni Association chair on display, there will be UNF holiday swag for alumni available from 4 to 6 p.m. while supplies last. A movie also will be shown at 6 p.m. at the Seawalk Pavilion.

Messiah on the Move

Saturday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., online  
Enjoy UNF’s annual innovative staged production of Handel’s Messiah online this season, featuring the Chamber Singers, Lawson Ensemble, Osprey Treble Chorus and Chorale with Brittany Fouché, soprano; Dina Barone, contralto; Jimmy Hall, tenor; John Daugherty, baritone; and Sachiko Frampton, portative. Original choreography by Ricky Ablan, Maureen McCluskey and Samantha Powell. Cara Tasher, conductor; Patrick Chiu, director; Maureen McCluskey, associate movement director.

MOCA Project AtriumMOCA Project Atrium: Making Great Lives Matter
December through March 7 at MOCA Jacksonville
Carl Joe Williams’ Project Atrium installation, “Making Great Lives Matter,” comprises eight video installations and covers the back wall of the Atrium space in his signature vibrantly colored geometric pattern. Museum admission is free for UNF employees and one guest. Find tour times and requirements.

Art, Art History and Design Senior Portfolio: Spring and Fall 2020
December through Jan. 21
This senior exhibition, featuring student artwork from 2020 spring and fall semesters, will be on view at the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery, Mondays and Wednesdays, and UNF Gallery of Art, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in both galleries. Other times by appointment. Exhibited artwork includes ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. Send an email for more information or to make an appointment.


Distinguished Voices Lecture Series: 'An Update from The Economist'

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m., Adam W. Herbert University Center
Join speaker Henry Curr, The Economist’s principal writer on economics who oversees economics coverage throughout the newspaper. He has written cover stories on fiscal and monetary policy, labor markets, trade, central banks, competition policy, the future of the business cycle, globalization, taxation, trade, housing markets, inequality and “millennial socialism.” Free, but registration required. E-tickets will be available Jan. 5.

Faculty Forum

Tom Caswell

Thomas Caswell headshot

Tom Caswell is associate dean for Public Services at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library. His academic field is Library and Information Science. He now provides guest lectures on library research for classes in music, art, art history and design-related disciplines and in the past has taught honors courses on research methods. Caswell is currently doing research on immersive technologies (XR, VR, AR) in higher education and serves as a contributor to a national committee that investigates and publishes regularly on trends and issues impacting academic libraries.

What’s one thing in your field of study that people might not know? Library and Information Science is not just a “study about books” ― it’s a dynamic and ever-changing field of study concerned with not only the creation, publishing, access and management of information but also about the intersection of teaching and learning and research across academic disciplines.

What brought you to UNF? The opportunity to advance my career as an academic librarian and to get to work on this beautiful campus.

Do you have a favorite spot on campus? The bamboo garden. It’s peaceful and beautiful and a great place to escape to between meetings or to eat your lunch.

What’s the most rewarding academic experience you’ve had at UNF in or out of the classroom? The ability to connect with a student one-on-one during our research consultations and to witness that very “aha” moment when they understand how to better navigate the library databases or construct their research query. I miss doing meetings in person, but I still get to witness that moment of clarity in our online research consultations. 

If you weren’t teaching, what else would you be doing? Probably be a patient advocate at a hospital or nursing home. I’ve witnessed firsthand how confusing and overwhelming it can be for patients and their caregivers navigating the healthcare system.

What do you like most about Jacksonville? Where else have you lived? Jacksonville is really coming into its own ― the cultural scene, the restaurants, the shopping and the best university of course. I was actually born in Jacksonville, grew up in Mandarin when it was just sand and scrub pine. Then I went to Gainesville to attend UF and ended up working there full time and achieved tenure as a university librarian. Then came back here to work at UNF in 2016, but I live in downtown St. Augustine.

What is your personal philosophy? As simple as the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like others to treat you.

What do you like most about UNF? In addition to the extremely friendly and welcoming working environment, it’s just the most beautiful campus to be able to drive onto every morning ― and have you seen the library I work in? It is by far the most beautiful academic library I’ve ever visited, and I am fortunate enough to get to work here every day.

Describe your teaching style. Do you like to integrate tech, or are you more comfortable with a lecture-style classroom? I am partial to in-person teaching, but the sudden infusion and integration of tech these last few months has been very exciting! The tech that ITS, CIRT and the Library are bringing into real and virtual spaces will definitely enhance teaching, learning and research at UNF.

Who has been the biggest role model in your life? I don’t know that I can narrow it down to just one person, as all of my role models and mentors over the years have been important to my overall development as a professional and a person.

If the world were silent for 20 seconds and all ears were turned to you, what would you say? Let’s all stop what we are doing and enjoy this silence …

What advice would you give a student who is about to graduate? Follow your passion and never stop learning. Stay curious!

If you could witness any historical event, what would it be? The first telephone call.

What is your favorite memory from your undergraduate days? Finally figuring out my major ― art history.

Who is your favorite fictional character? Atticus Finch.

Where is the best place you’ve visited? India. The people. The food. The sights. And my fondest memory is riding on a train through the countryside, sipping masala chai, and seeing a group of women in colorful saris walking in a field ― it was just the ultimate in multisensory overload.

How do you recharge? Travel! Or lately, just go for a walk ― preferably on the beach at sunrise.

What would you most regret not having done by the end of your life? Not having been able to travel more.

Around Campus

Osprey Profile: Jazz Bond

Jazz Bond, UNF student-athleteJazz Bond, a student-athlete on North Florida’s women’s basketball team, is working on a master’s degree in public health, a field that she says fits with her passion for bettering the lives of others. Bond has a strong desire to care for those who are in need, not only within her immediate community but also globally.

Why did you decide to attend the University of North Florida? I decided to attend North Florida because of the great coaching staff that recruited me. When I came to visit UNF, I fell in love with the beauty of the campus and the city of Jacksonville.

Where are you from? Murfreesboro, Tennessee

What do you like most about UNF? The thing I like most about UNF is the family environment. Everyone on campus is so supportive and loving and will do anything to help you achieve.

What has been your coolest UNF experience so far? The coolest UNF experience I had was going to the Oz Fest and being able to be a part of a concert held on my own campus.

What does being an Osprey mean to you? Being an Osprey to me means being part of a family that pushes me to be the best version of myself.

When you’re looking to de-stress and relax a bit, where do you go on campus? The place I go to de-stress is on the balcony of the boathouse. Not only is the food great there, but also you get to see a nice view of the campus.

If you could meet one historical figure for coffee, who would it be? I would want to meet Maya Angelou because she was so inspirational to many people around the world and allowed young African American women to see that we have the power to make a difference in the world.

What three traits define you? I am very honest, competitive and loyal.

Do you have any advice for high school students? Advice I would give to high school students is don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, get involved around campus, get a planner and to be present. Enjoy every moment you have while you are in college, because it will be over before you know it.


Balloons with UNF logo

Congratulations to the following employees with a milestone anniversary in December or January:

40 Years
John McEldowney
, Associate Professor, Accounting and Finance

25 Years
Michael Weglicki
, Assistant Director, Sports Facilities, Special Events

20 Years
Melonie Handerson, Executive Assistant, President's Office
Dennis McNulty, Program Assistant, Business Services Administrative
Jan Meires, Professor, Nursing
Mary Annette Robinette, Senior Academic Advisor, First-Year Advising
Valarie Robinson, Coordinator, Career Development Services

15 Years
Adel ElSafty
, Professor, Civil Engineering
Tiffany King, Office Manager, Urban Internship


10 Years
Deborah Deal
, Coordinator, Payroll, Controller
Quincy Gibson, Associate Professor, Biology
Claudia Sealey-Potts, Associate Professor, Nutrition and Dietetics
Victoria Shore, Student Government Advisor, SG Business and Accounting Office

5 Years
Mikayla Beaudrie
, Instructor, English
Dawn Button, Coordinator, Administrative Services, Hicks Honors College
Jamie Chaires, Instructional Designer, Distance Learning
Don Chin, Law Enforcement Sergeant, University Police Department
Kimberley Downs, Director, Project Management Office
Peter Durr, Office Manager, Graduate School
Jodi Henson, Assistant Director, Residence Program Services, Small Business Development Center
Tara Kelley, Instructor, English
Sarah Lynch, Senior Library Services Associate, Library
Amanda Radtke, Coordinator, Sports Media Relations, Athletic Communications
Maria Ribeiro, Office Manager, ELP-Faculty Grants and Initiatives
Robert Roggio, Coordinator, Computer Systems Technology, Computing, Engineering and Construction
Marcellus Vanderhorst, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance and Energy Management

The following employees were either hired by UNF or were promoted from OPS positions recently:
Malou Broder, Academic Advisor, CCEC Advising
Ronald Hall, Groundskeeper, Housing and Residence Life
Maurisha Johnson, Custodial Worker, Custodial Services
Rebecca Mantilla, Student Financial Aid Coordinator, Financial Aid Office
Donald Stratmann, Police Communications Operator, University Police Department

Great Job
The following employees were promoted recently:

Julie Dann, Student Affairs Budget Specialist, Student Affairs
Jessica Murray, Associate Director, Continuing Education
Emma Reynolds, Associate Director, Transfer Student Services
Aleris Roa, Child Development Teacher, UNF Preschool

Julia Seaton, Coordinator, Web Services, Marketing and Communications
Andrea Wylie, Administrative Specialist, Continuing Education

Heartfelt wishes in their new endeavors for the following employees who left UNF recently:
Nicole Atkinson, Associate Director, Fine Arts Center
Darren Carr, Maintenance Mechanic, Osprey Fountains
Michael Fritts, Coordinator, Classification Compensation, Human Resources
Elizabeth Iglesias, Director, Planned Giving, University Development and Alumni Engagement
Jesse James, Assistant Director, Continuing Education
Emma Spina, Admissions Processing Specialist, Enrollment Services Processing Office

In Memoriam
UNF is saddened to learn of the recent death of Doug Walton Jr., Senior Library Technical Associate, who retired from the University in 2011. Read his obituary.

Faculty and Staff

Osprey Fountain(1)

Brooks College of Health
Dr. James Churilla, with previous thesis student Bethany Rand from the MSH in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease program, published a manuscript titled “Diabetes Risk Status and Physical Activity in Pregnancy: U.S. BRFSS 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017” in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. Rand is now pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee. Churilla also published two manuscripts with a colleague from California Baptist University; “Leisure-Time Aerobic Physical Activity and the Risk of Diabetes-Related Mortality: An Analysis of Effect Modification by Race-Ethnicity” was published in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications; and “The Independent and Combined Effects of Aerobic Physical Activity and Muscular Strengthening Activity on All-Cause Mortality: An Analysis of Effect Modification by Race-Ethnicity” was published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

Dr. Helene Vossos
, with M. Reeder, published “Feed American's Kids. Strengthen supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP)” in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, November 2020. Article in Press. 

Coggin College of Business 

Dr. Sharon Cobb, professor of economics and geography, presented “Post-Pandemic and Post-Brexit considerations for Financial Services” at the Virtual Conference of the 75th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers (SEDAAG), November. Based on the virtual presentation, she was invited to contribute a chapter to an interdisciplinary and international book on the causes and impacts of the coronavirus on populations, economies, politics, institutions and environments called "COVID-19 and an Emerging World of Ad Hoc Geographies," Springer, forthcoming, March 2021. The chapter's focus will be on COVID in “Small islands: Isle of Man Case study.” In addition, Cobb was a judge for SEDAAG's Undergraduate Student Poster Competition for Economic and Physical Geography. 

Diane Denslow, instructor of management, received a grant through the UNF MVRC from Veterans FL, a nonprofit created by the State of Florida to provide programs to teach military veterans how to start and grow businesses. With the assistance of Dr. Martin Luytjes, an eight-week Start-up Cohort was completed in November. A Growth Cohort will be held during the spring term. 

Dr. Natalie A. Mitchell, marketing instructor, gave a talk titled “Cyber Safety: Managing Your Personal Identity” for the Jacksonville Urban League’s Crime Prevention workshop, Oct. 31. Mitchell also served on a panel titled “UGA Vs. UF Girl Fandom” for “She: The #1 Fan” documentary, Oct. 31.

Dr. Robert Renn, assistant professor of management, partnered with the Truist Leadership Institute, Greensboro, North Carolina, to have Coggin host the Fall 2020 Emerging Leaders Certification Program for 21 UNF undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, with co-author Dr. Tobias Huning, Renn was awarded the 2020 Literati Award for most Highly Commended Paper by Emerald Publishing Company for the article, “External Career Mentoring and Mentor Turnover Intentions: Role of Mentor Work Engagement, Satisfaction with Protege, and Meeting Frequency” published in Evidence-based HRM (2019) Vol. 7(3) pp. 342-356.

College of Arts and Sciences
Art, Art History and Design

Stephen Heywood, M.F.A., professor of ceramics, participated in the Invitational Group Exhibition “The Vessel, Variations of Form and Surface” at the Art Link Contemporary Gallery, Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Jenny Hager, M.F.A, professor of sculpture, will have an upcoming exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville.

Eli Beal, M.S., biology visiting lecturer, published an article titled “Alligators in the big city: spatial ecology of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at multiple scales across an urban landscape” in the Scientific Reports - Volume 10, Article number 16575, October. 

Dr. Candice Tahimic, assistant professor of biology, was invited to share her thoughts on the future of rodent research in space at the Decadal Survey Virtual Townhall Talks hosted by the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research. The Townhall Talks aim to engage the space research community to identify priority areas for the next decade of spaceflight research. Hear the talk online. In addition, Tahimic co-authored a recently published research article titled “Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio: A Biomarker to Monitor the Immune Status of Astronauts” in Frontiers in Immunology, Vol. 11, Article 564950, November 2020.


Marcus Pactor, M.F.A, associate English instructor, published the short story “Megaberry Crunch” in Juked, October. 

Dr. Charles Closmann, associate professor of history, presented the “Report for the General Public," from the 2020 River Report: State of the Lower St. Johns River Basin, Florida, Oct. 22, for WJCT. 

Dr. N. Harry Rothschild, professor of history, presented a paper in late October at the virtual Southeast Early China Roundtable conference: “Flower Power: The Development of the Cult of the Chrysanthemum in Seventh-Century East Asia.” Rothschild also received a $1,500 grant from the Tang Studies Society to support his research project on Wu Zhao’s 武曌(Wu Zetian’s 武則天) management and manipulation of time. 

Philosophy and Religion Studies
Dr. Sarah LaChance Adams
, Florida Blue Distinguished Professor, with specialties in ethics, feminist philosophy and critical existential phenomenology, was interviewed on the podcast Your Parenting Mojo episode 123 “Maternal Ambivalence: What it is and what to do about it,” October. Listen to the interview on the parenting podcast

Dr. Bert Koegler, professor of philosophy, published the guest editor's introduction as well as the essay “Tradition, Transcendence, and the Public Sphere: A Hermeneutic Critique of Religion” in the special issue: “Reconceiving Religion in the Postsecular Public Sphere,” Berlin Journal of Critical Theory (BJCT), Vol. 4, 2, 2020, 107-146, July 2020.


Dr. Nirmal Patel, associate lecturer in physics, was issued a U.S. patent USPTO Patent 10,823,690, "Nanocrystalline Indium Tin Oxide Sensors and Associated Method of Use,” Nov. 3. This is Patel's third patent as a lead inventor.  

Dr. Lifan Yu, assistant professor of psychology, co-authored a journal article titled “Trauma and Healing in the Under-Served Populations of Homelessness and Corrections: Forgiveness Therapy as an Added Component to Intervention,” in press, Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, October. 

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Dr. Mandi N. Barringer
, assistant professor of sociology, in collaboration with her undergraduate students Caroline Howard, Shira Diamond and Allison Parker, presented “Scaling the Stonewall: Program Evaluation of the UNF Gender Inclusive Housing Community” at the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology Annual Meeting, October. Also, Barringer was an invited panelist for the discussion on the “Southern LGBT Experience” at the Mid-South Sociological Association Annual Meeting, October. 

Dr. Rosa de Jorio, professor of anthropology, published an article titled “Of Rumors and Transfers: The Short Life of Western-Educated Women’s Associations in French Sudan, 1955–1960,” Kritisk Etnografi: Swedish Journal of Anthropology 3 (1): 63-82.

Dr. Jacqueline Meier, assistant professor of anthropology, in collaboration with her colleague Dr. Reuven Yeshurun, published an article titled “Contextual taphonomy for zooarchaeology: theory, practice and select Levantine case studies” in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, V.34, Part A, October.

College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Dr. Raf Crowley, associate professor in civil engineering – TERI, with W. Cottrell and A. Singleton,* published “An examination of the dependency between maximum equilibrium scour depth and the grain size/structure size ratio,” in Water, DOI: 10.3390/w12113117. In addition, Crowley, with A. Chek,* T.N. Ellis, M. Durnin,* and B. Wingender, published “An evaluation of factors affecting erodibility improvement for MICP-treated beach sand” in the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0002481, 2020.

Dr. Jonghoon Kim, assistant professor in construction management, received a $16,000 research fund from the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) as a PI. Kim also published three papers. With H. Naganathan, O. Chong and A.D. Sauer, Kim published “Qualitative Analysis of Sustainable Indicators: An Approach to Correlate Sustainable Indicators with Transportation Practices” in the Global Journal of Research In Engineering, 2020. With T. Kang, S. Patil, K. Kang and D. Koo, Kim published “Rule-Based Scan-to-BIM Mapping Pipeline in the Plumbing System,” in Applied Sciences, 2020, 10(21), 7422. And with K. Kang, D. Chen, C. Peng, D. Koo and T. Kang, Kim published “Development of an Automated Visibility Analysis Framework for Pavement Markings Based on the Deep Learning Approach” in Remote Sens. 2020, 12(22), 3837. 

Dr. Don Resio, TERI, received a $75,000 research project from DHS to develop a new wave model that can run much more efficiently than the current model with equal or better accuracy. Also, Resio was made a "Fellow" in the Americal Geophysical Union (established in 1919 by the National Research Council). 

Dr. Stephen Stagon, associate professor in mechanical engineering, was issued a patent, U.S. 10,828,816 B1, 3D Printed Injection Mold Coating to Extend Lifetime and Performance, with Peter Cerreta and Ryan Scherzer.

College of Education and Human Services
Dr. Laura L. Boilini, clinical assistant professor and program director, Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management, contributed to the LGBTQ Center’s art exhibit in the town center, ArtSee & Shop. This event offered the UNF LGBTQ Center a unique opportunity to engage with our local community. The Hines company, which owns The Market at Town Center, values diversity and inclusion, and our group partnership with the Jacksonville Cultural Council is the first of its kind. To demonstrate their commitment, Hines has funded the gallery space where works will be sold throughout November and December. 

Find more details about the ArtSee & Shop at the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville website, read a UNF article, or contact: Suzanne Story, LGBTQ Center.

Dr. Nicholas Eastham, coordinator in Academic Support Services and STEP Lab Facilitator, and Dr. Terry Cavanaugh, professor, Fulbright Specialist, Educational Technology, Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management, published “Pre-Service Teachers 3D Print Selections [215892] in the SITE 2020 Proceedings,” via LearnTechLib — The Learning and Technology Library, a nonprofit serving the Learning professionals community. The article is available online.

Dr. Mark Halley, NIC, assistant professor, Department of Exceptional, Deaf and Interpreter Education, had a book chapter published. Learn more about the publication.

Latrina Patrick is now the Program Manager for Project InTERSECT, our new $4 million USDOE Grant. You can reach out via email at until she receives her UNF email address. 

Dr. Hope E. (Bess) Wilson, associate professor and faculty assessment coordinator, graduate program director, Department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum, is an author on the article “A call to reframe gifted education as maximizing learning,” in the Phi Delta Kappan professional journal for educators. Read the article on gifted education.

Hicks Honors College
Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain
, dean of the College, has been accepted as one of 21 candidates in our inaugural Faculty Innovation Fellows program. This work builds on his role as Faculty Champion of UNF's student University Innovation Fellows, a program of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. In this two-year program, educators from across the globe work to design unique projects that enhance the innovation ecosystems at their schools and help students gain vital real-world skills and mindsets. The cohort will work together as a community of practice, meeting regularly, sharing strategies, and supporting one another to make measurable progress on their projects. 

Thomas G. Carpenter Library

Student Outreach Librarian Maria Atilano presented at and served as past conference chair for the 6th Annual Library Marketing and Communications Conference. The virtual Conference took place Nov. 4-6 and included nine concurrent sessions and three roundtable sessions attended by 260 national and international librarians and marketers.

Librarians Adam Chalmers, Paul Mosley and Victoria Rocanelli presented “Moving Forward with Tipasa at the University of North Florida” at the Florida Library Association 2020 conference.

Susan Swiatosz, head of Special Collections and University Archives; Clayton McCarl, associate professor of Spanish and digital humanities; Felicia Bevel, assistant professor of history; Carol Hemmingway, history and Spanish student; and Keith Simmons, communications director, Florida Humanities; presented at the 2020 Virtual National Humanities Conference, Nov. 10. Their roundtable discussion was titled “Editing the Earth M. M. White Collection as a Model for Collaboration Among Students and Faculty at UNF.”

Around Campus

Favorite Holiday Foods

It’s that time of year again! We get to enjoy our favorite holiday foods for a few short weeks. Whether we have a choice from our childhood or newfound tradition, I am sure we can all agree that we enjoy the taste of our holiday meals. But, did you know that some of those favorites are packed full of nutrients to keep you healthy year-round? Check out some of our fan-favorite holiday foods.

Gingerbread cookie


It has been said that the first gingerbread recipe came from Greece in 2400 B.C. and later made its way to England, where Queen Elizabeth I has been credited with the idea of decorating the cookies. Gingerbread cookies were eaten year-round, and cookie shapes changed with seasons. Cookie designs became so elaborate that they were a symbol of elegance. Today, gingerbread cookies are a holiday staple for both children and adults to enjoy. Two common spices found in the cookies are cinnamon and ginger, which contain antioxidants that have been shown to help control diabetes, lower cholesterol, maintain healthy blood pressure and prevent cognitive decline.

Cranberry Sauce 

This holiday staple has been around since the early 1900s. Cranberries were first canned in 1912, which created a jellied product that reduced to a sauce when warmed. This side dish packs a nutritional punch for good health with a healthy dose of vitamin C that can protect your immune system from colds and flu. A half-cup serving provides about 4% of your daily vitamin C needs. Cranberries have played a role in lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while raising HDL or “good” cholesterol. Cranberries also have been known to play a role in cancer prevention; antioxidants found in cranberry sauce can help prevent free radical damage that can lead to cancer growth.

Pecan Pie Pecan Pie

The first pecan pie recipes appeared in the late 19th century, often referred to as “Texas pecan pie.” The original pies were custards topped with pecans and did not look like the ones we see today on our dinner tables. Our modern-day pecan pie with the dark filling was created in the 1930s by the Karo Syrup company. While pecans can provide a hefty dose of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, zinc and potassium, pecan pie is one of the most caloric holiday treats on our tables. This is one treat that deserves moderation.



This creamy favorite is based on a medieval drink called posset and was a staple for the British aristocracy. Traditional eggnog was made from cream, milk and eggs and usually a form of alcohol such as sherry or Madeira. Eggnog, once considered a drink for the wealthy due to its expensive ingredients, eventually made its way to America and Canada, where it remains a holiday tradition prepared with cinnamon, nutmeg and often brandy, rum or whiskey. Due to the alcohol and high saturated fat intake, this drink should be consumed in moderation; however, there are some nutritional benefits from eggnog such as milk and omega-3 fatty acids. Milk is a good source of calcium, which our bodies need for strong bones, teeth, hair and nails, and omega-3 fatty acids helps to prevent cardiovascular disease.  

Submitted by Jill Snyder, Instructor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics

Around Campus

Swoop Summary

UNF Hall of Fame

2021 Hall of Fame Class Announced
The University of North Florida Athletic Department in conjunction with the UNF Athletic Hall of Fame Committee announced the 2021 Hall of Fame Class featuring a combination of Division I and pre-Division I competitors along with a collection of teams. The latest Hall of Fame class includes: Phil Black (Baseball), Cari Chewning (Softball), Carolina Lencina (Women's Soccer), Kevin Phelan (Men's Golf), Parker Smith (Men's Basketball) and a three-year span of Beach Volleyball teams from 2012-14. The 2021 UNF Athletic Hall of Fame Class induction ceremony and festivities will be announced at a later date. Read more about the Hall of fame inductees.

2020-21 Hoop Schedule Highlights Include 12 Home Games & 19 In-State Contests
The 12th edition of North Florida men's basketball under head coach Matthew Driscoll will face another traditionally challenging slate. The ledger is highlighted by 12 games at UNF Arena along with three matchups against ACC teams as well as an SEC opponent. Games at UNF Arena this season will reflect several changes including mobile ticketing, social-distance spacing in arena and seating and a clear bag policy. Read more about plans for the season.

Partnership with Southeast Orthopedic Specialists, Brooks Rehabilitation and Ascension St. Vincent's
The Athletic Department announced a joint venture partnership with Southeast Orthopedic Specialists, Brooks Rehabilitation and Ascension St. Vincent's that includes a variety of financial, marketing and service elements. This five-year agreement, initiated on Nov. 1, not only features a significant financial investment to UNF Athletics but also provides Osprey student-athletes with access to top quality medical care that includes preseason, in-season and postseason coverage. Read more about the athletic/medical partnership.

Around Campus

Spread the Word

UNF's Veteran's PlazaNew Ranking Distinguishes UNF for Veterans

Just before Veteran's Day last month, UNF received a notable ranking within Florida. According to College Factual, UNF ranked No. 6 in the state for the listing Best Colleges for Veterans. In addition, UNF ranked No. 53 out of over 2,100 schools analyzed, putting the University in the top 5% of the country for serving veteran and active-duty military students, a significant jump from last year. UNF’s veteran population is now 1,325 veterans or military-affiliated students representing approximately 8% of the University’s student body. Read more about the ranking.


Spread the Word (and see more rankings in Inside News Roundup)!


Inside UNF is a monthly publication produced by UNF Marketing and Communications
Marsha Blasco, Editor
Contributing writers: Jill Snyder, Instructor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics; Isabel Pease, Assistant Vice President, Marketing